Head Coach Tui Osborne has announced the signing of twelve rugby players who will enroll at Life U this year. Coming off a third straight trip to the USA Rugby D1A National Championship appearance, Osborne has found student-athletes who will contribute to the continued success of the program, both on and off the pitch.
With a commitment to cultivating and developing talent in the United States, these recruits come from all across the country, including two from Life U’s home state of Georgia.
The 2015 recruiting class includes the following:
Daniel Castagna – Clarksville, TN
Edward Dennett-Smith – Marietta, GA
Carter Hunchik – Richardson, TX
Maciu Koroi – Sacramento, CA
Griffin Kraemer – West Chester, OH
Philip Laurence – Delray Beach, FL
Quadarius Miller – Rivera Beach, FL
Donovan Norphlet – Memphis, TN
Jason Paul, Jr. – Brookshire, TX
Daemon Torres – Round Rock, TX
Brandon Wahle – Plano, TX
Terrance Williams – Acworth, GA
Some of the players were brought in to address specific needs, whereas others were sought for their overall talent and skills. But most importantly, they were recruitied because they possess the character traits that will mesh well with the culture Osborne and his predecessors have created here at Life U. “We think long term here at Life U,” said Osborne. “The wins and losses come and go. Our larger goal is to use the sport of rugby to develop young men and women for success beyond college and beyond the rugby pitch.”
Many of the players in the recruiting list were identified through the Life U Rugby Camp, which took place in July. Historically, the rugby camps have been a fantastic guage for the coching staff to assess talent and character, as the weeklong event features intensive training and competition that reveals those traits.
As for the rugby talent, Osborne had this to say about these new players:
“We were a little small in the scrum this past season, so the addition of student-athletes such as Castagna, Dennett-Smith, Torres, Griffin and Hunchik will give us that size and physicality we were short on last year.”
“Likewise, we’ve got some great speed and shiftiness to add to our backs, with the likes of Koroi, Miller, Williams and Norphlet. Each of them will bring some flair to our backs with great passing and ball-handling skills.”
“We have a plan for each player we bring in each year. Some of them wil slot exactly where we expected; but others might end up playing a position we didn’t expect. But that’s the beauty of this game and also with developing young athletes. You never know what undiscovered or untapped talents they will bring to the table.”
This past season, the very first recruiting class from 2011 graduated. That group left quite a legacy, capturing a national championship in 2013, and finishing runner-up in 2014 and 2015. They have set a high standard at Life U, and this current crop of young men will look to build on that solid foundation.